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Stain marks half way up wall

Discussion in 'General DIY' started by lee666, 19 Aug 2020.

  1. lee666

    lee666

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    Evening all,

    Got a bit of a conundrum with regards to a possible water stain half way up my dining room wall.

    It's kind of always been there, albeit a lot smaller. Was never there when we first moved in years ago, appeared maybe 4/5 years after we moved in.

    Of late though it seems to have got worse, as in bigger. I have attached a couple of pics but can do some in the daylight tomorrow if needed.

    In a nutshell, the remedies I have tried are to get the chimney stack repointed and caps put on the 2 chimneys which aren't in use, in case water was coming down 1.

    When there is a prolonged dry spell it pretty much goes and then appears in autumn/winter with the rain, and also the last few days since the sunny weather has stopped.

    I would point out that this wall is an internal wall although it is close to the external wall.

    I'm running out of ideas with regards to things it could be on my house, the flashing on the chimney stack looks good and being an internal wall there's no guttering or downpipes by it.

    Now.... The next door property which it adjoins has had issues with the same wall but a hell of a lot worse, the old owner was a landlady who basically covered over the issue before selling it and didn't look after the property, it has since been bought by a proper homeowner.

    With this in mind I'm starting to wonder if I'm suffering the issue as a result of next door.

    For example:

    There is a lean to on the property next door which is pretty much falling apart due to whoever doing it using plywood which has now decayed. Secondly, the roof of said lean-to just butt's up to the house, no flashing as been chased in and the seal is going. The external render at the back of the house is failing badly with multiple large cracks, so my guess is that the water is ingressing around the lean-to or render and then working its way along.

    When the previous tenants lived next door we were friendly with them and they allowed us in to take some photos of the damp issue they lived with that was never sorted.

    The new tenant has since done work on the house in an attempt to rectify the issues but my worry is that he never sorted the cause and its still there.

    My only other thought is the lead flashing that connects the 2 houses, which is the right of my house. If this was failing would I have the same issue in the top bedroom? Also, if it is failing would that be classed as his boundary and he'd be liable to fix it?

    Sorry for the long post but wanted to give as much info a possible as would like to sort it out before it gets any worse.

    IMG_20200819_215909.jpg IMG_20200819_215913.jpg
     
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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Is the stain on a chimney breast? Is the chimney ventilated top and bottom? What, exactly, is on the other side of the wall

    I can't make out your pics. Put something by the mark to show scale please. And no shadows.
     
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  4. lee666

    lee666

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    Hi john,

    the stain isn't on the chimney breast, other side of the wall is the neighbours room. The fireplace next to the wall where the stain is, is in use as i have a stove in there. There was an old opening in the bedroom above the dining room but that has been long sealed up, before we moved in and there is an air brick in the breast and also the chimney cap i had put on has a gap to allow air flow.

    I can take some pics in the morning as the light isn't that bright in the dining room.
     
  5. lee666

    lee666

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    I've attached some pictures of the neighbours house, as the old tenants let us in to take some pics before they moved out. The wall where the sockets are is my wall, so you can see the extent of the issue next door. I might add that the new owner has since done some work, i think he removed the faux brick thing and other bits but got no idea if it sorted out the issue. the neighbours side was/is far worse than my side.

    next door 5.jpg next door 4.jpg next door 3.jpg next door 2.jpg next door 1.jpg
     
  6. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Would this be a terrace house with parapet walls at roof level ?
     
  7. JohnD

    JohnD

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    What is on the other side of the wall with the window, and the wallpaper falling off?

    Is the floor concrete
    Or wood, with a ventilated space beneath?

    What is inside that box in the corner?

    Is there a bathroom above?
     
  8. lee666

    lee666

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    Hi there, it is a terraced house but no parapet walls.
     
  9. lee666

    lee666

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    Hi John,

    Their floor is floorboards, mine is concrete. Other side of that window is the knackered lean to that i mention in the OP. God knows what was, if anything, inside the box thing and i believe it has now been removed. No bathrooms above, in either of our houses, as they are all downstairs.

    I might add that I don't know if next doors floor is ventilated. I know there isn't an airbrick at the back of the house as it's has the lean to and extension on the back, and I don't recall seeing an airbrick at the front of the house but i can double check in the morning.
     
    Last edited: 19 Aug 2020
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  11. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Where is the bathroom and the kitchen, in relation to the stained wall?

    Where is the outside stopcock?

    Do you know when the original floor in your house was replaced?
     
  12. lee666

    lee666

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    Hi John,

    My kitchen and bathroom are in an extension on the back of the house but only comes across 2/3 of the back of my house, basically there is an outside window to left on my side. The neighbours kitchen and bathroom are the same but the other side of the house, not near this wall.

    When you say outside stopcock, do you mean for the water company? if so that's at the front of the house.

    Original floor in our house, at a guess, was replaced maybe 15 years or so ago. We've been here 11 years and it was done a few years before we moved in.
     
  13. lee666

    lee666

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    Few more pics as requested now it's light. Popped a piece of a4 by it for scale.
    IMG_20200820_114000.jpg IMG_20200820_114007.jpg IMG_20200820_114015.jpg IMG_20200820_114047.jpg
     
  14. JohnD

    JohnD

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    the marks appear to be yellowish-brownish with a white centre. So not condensation, but water coming through the wall. I expect, with a decorators scraper, you can remove some of that paint that has been pushed off. You may find white crystals behind it.

    Tape a piece of clear plastic tightly to the wall. you may find a mist or beads of water appear behind it. Do the same on your concrete floor (roll back the carpet for access and look for traces or damp, or plastic sheet round the edges of the concrete slab that might be visible at the skirting. Look for any damp marks on the floor.

    The plaster on your wall looks quite smooth and may be relatively new. This is sometimes done to conceal a damp wall, which I suspect you have. Are you absolutely sure there was no old chimney that has been removed or blocked up?

    Examine the wall in all lights and see if there is a horizontal line or difference in texture or colour at, say, 1 metre above floor level or therabouts where the plaster is slightly different.

    Look at the outside walls for damp-looking bricks, or bricks with whitish stains on them, and photograph them. Also any drains or pipes visible on the outside wall, and air-bricks.

    You have an old house where an original wooden floor might have been removed and replaced with concrete. This might have been done because the original floor was chronically damp, rotted, and was replaced.

    Common causes are leaking pipes or drains, and sometimes damp from chimneys, hence our questions. less commonly the ground beneath can be damp from sloping ground channelling water, or even a spring (very rare) or the house being built in a hollow. Sometimes the causes is a leaking water or radiator pipe buried or concealed in the floor or wall. Most common in or around rooms that used to be bathrooms or kitchens. If the water was coming from the roof, there would probably be a sign of its route, either on the upstairs walls, or a disused flue, chimney or a downpipe. Do you have a water meter?

    The original water supply pipe would typically have run underground straight from where the outside stopcock used to be, to where the kitchen sink used to be when the house was built (not where it is now).
     
    Last edited: 20 Aug 2020
  15. foxhole

    foxhole

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    I would suspect a fault at roof level, could be your side or the neighbours. Damp around windows suggest they are badly fitted .External photos would be of more use than internal.
     
  16. lee666

    lee666

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    Hi gents, thank you for your replies. Unfortunately I have wooden flooring down so unable to lift it to place plastic sheeting on the concrete slab.

    That wall was replastered last year as the existing plaster had blown, the previous plaster had a patch in the same area, I suspect it didn't look worse due to gap between plaster and wall and not having a bridge.

    The old fireplace in the bedroom above has been covered but there is an air brick in the chimney breast and there is a gap at the top of the chimney for airflow.

    As it is an internal wall there is no guttering by in and no downpipe, the radiator is on the other side of the room and the pipework is exposed. At a guess I'd say the water supply pipe would be 4-5ft away from that wall given where my internal stop valve is in the kitchen.

    My prime suspect is the lean-to next door as the wall was fine when we moved it and seems to have gotten worse the more the lean-to has rotted. Will post some pics of the outside.
     
  17. lee666

    lee666

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    A few pictures from outside so you can see the state of the lean-to next door, as well as the room and chimney stack. Also took a picture of the room of said lean-to.

    Where the wood has perished up by the house I've attempted to fill the channel/void at the bottom where it meets the wall with cement in case water was running down along there.

    The back of my house is rendered so can't see the brickwork underneath, however where the external garden wall and lean-to meet the house it isn't rendered on his side.

    IMG_20200820_123508.jpg IMG_20200820_123515.jpg IMG_20200820_123521.jpg IMG_20200820_123534.jpg IMG_20200820_123554.jpg IMG_20200820_123601.jpg IMG_20200820_123616.jpg IMG_20200820_123756.jpg
     
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